Spooky spots, Bethel legends and more with alum Nate Kroeker
ALLY WEAVER News Editor
With autumn upon us, Bethel students have certainly noticed the turning of leaves, crisp morning air, and the cloudless blue sky. And as the weeks fly by, a hallmark holiday creeps ever closer; Halloween! With that in mind, new and returning Bethel students alike should be keeping their eyes open for campus creepiness. To give readers all the details about potential spooky spots and other Bethel-centric lore, Bethel alum of 2019 and current Admissions Counselor Nate Kroeker weighed in.
He reports that the scariest place on campus is “the Administration building’s elevator - I don’t trust it!” More seriously though.
“The spookiest place on campus in general is the basement of the Mantz Library, because it’s so underused and you’re the only person down there. The lights are on an automatic timer and shut off on their own, which is loud. And runner-up goes to underneath the stage in the Fine Arts Center storage: any noise down there could be a rat, person or ghost. I just get the willies when going down under there. One time, Connick [Roe, Bethel alum of 2019] and I, for the freshman play, had to go from one side to the other without the floor creaking, just the two of us in costume without flashlights or phones. One night, we were creeping across and the furnace came on,” Kroeker said.
Those are all good spots to avoid! And the main takeaway from that is to use the buddy system when adventuring around the Halloween season.
On the note of ghosts wandering around buildings, Nate decided that the most well-known legend is that of the Chapel Bride.
“The Chapel is haunted by the bride who died on her wedding day, eternally searching for her groom. And the Leisy Admissions House - Mrs. Leisy still lives there, the doorbell sensor goes off automatically. People have recorded seeing silhouettes and shapes in the windows when nobody’s around, and seeing somebody turn the corner just ahead of them,” Kroeker said.
And, in perfect Bethel fashion, the house next to Kipcore’s headquarters is occupied by “the ghost of an old Mennonite woman making zwieback”. Watch out, students! Other Bethel shenanigans have invoked angry spirits in the past.
“There have been a couple of stories of Ouija boards in Haury that have resulted in supernatural occurrences. Some students had a board and were contacting the ‘other world,’ at the end of the session, they asked if the spirit wanted to say anything to somebody there, and the ghost said the name of somebody there, and that her mom said hello. This girl wasn’t a bethel student, and nobody there knew, but her mom had died a while back. Really mean prank or ghost activity, you decide!” Kroeker said.
All these ghosts could be coming from any number of deaths on campus.
“I don’t know, I can’t confirm any deaths on campus that would result in hauntings. Plus, I don’t know if you haunt the college or your home. If you have that one midterm to take, you might want to stick around and make that professor’s life a little harder,” Kroeker said.
On the other hand, Nate decided that if any current professor would come back to haunt Bethel someday:
“The honorable mention goes to Patty Shelly, she would whisper puns in people’s ears and be a kind of fun ghost. Honestly, I could see a lot of ‘em doing it. Nice ghosts, not mean spirits. Pastor Pete, Mark Jantzen, they’re all wholesome Caspers. They’re not mean. I just don’t want any professors haunting me for my answer! It’s safer to not name names…” Kroeker said.
With that info and the power of Lord, students and community members alike can be safe from any campus spookiness this year.